Jazz/R&B artist Ledisi has been bringing her tender, soulful vocals to audiences since 1995. She's regularly impressed both critics and fans with her expressive voice, and Ledisi tickets have become a hot commodity among many R&B fans.
Born in 1972 in New Orleans, Ledisi Anibade Young got her first name from the West African Yoruba language. Ledisi means "to bring forth." Her entire family was musical: Her birth father was the acclaimed soul singer Larry Sanders, who was in turn the son of R&B blues legend Johnny Ace. Her stepfather was a local drummer, and her mother and R&B singer.
Ledisi began singing with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra at the age of eight. She eventually moved with her family to Oakland, Calif. where she began to perform in musical theatre. Ledisi won a Shellie Award for her performance in a local production of The Wiz, and performed for several years with the San Francisco-based cabaret group Beach Blanket Babylon. She later attended the University of California Berkeley, as part of their Young Musicians program, where she studied piano and opera for five years.
Ledisi's career milestones
In 1995, Ledisi formed the group Anibade along with local artists Sundra Manning, Phoenix Normand, Cedrickke Dennis, Nelson Braxton, Wayne Braxton and Rob Rhodes. The soul band became a cult favorite in the Bay Area.
In 2000, she released her first solo album, Soulsinger: The Revival, through an independent label, while continuing to tour with Anibade. Her third album, Lost & Found, spawned the hit "Alright," which brought her broader commercial and critical acclaim. "Alright" debuted at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot R&B Chart. "In The Morning", the second single off Lost & Found, debuted at No. 49. Several other songs off the album charted, despite not being released as singles. Pieces of Me (2011) was another big hit, debuting at No. 8 on the Billboard 200.
Ledisi's personal life
Ledisi has a solid background as an actress. In the '90s, she performed on several commercials that ran on the Sci Fi Channel. She also appeared in the 2008 movie Leatherheads, singing "The Man I Love." In 2014, she performed as Mahalia Jackson in the award-winning film Selma.
Ledisi's noteworthy awards
Ledisi has seen several Grammy nominations over the years, including for the albums Lost & Found and Pieces of Me.
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